Tag Archives: chocolate

Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

My brother joined the navy earlier this year. We are very close – he actually has lived with me for most of the last 3 years.

He came to town on leave to surprise me. He’s been gone for 6 months, and this was the first time in our lives we’ve been away from each other for more than a couple weeks. It was a really good surprise, I cried for like 20 minutes straight. My sneaky husband knew everything and got it all on video. 🙂

While he was here we had a big family BBQ so everyone could see him. I (of course) asked to bring dessert. My brother is after all my best fan tester.

I had been eyeing this cake by Lindsay for a while now, and I knew an ice cream cake would be a perfect summer BBQ dessert that would impress not only my brother, but the entirety of my sweets loving family.

I decided to switch up her recipe a bit. Mostly because (and I know I’m in the minority here) I don’t think caramel and peanut butter belong together. Both are fabulous and both pair perfectly with chocolate, but I like to keep them separate.

Also – this cake is SOOO easy to make. If you can bake a box of brownies, you can make this ice cream cake!

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cakeadapted from Life, Love and Sugar

Ingredients:

1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients called for on box (I used fat free brownies)

8 oz brick cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

8 oz Cool Whip, thawed (I used fat free)

Chocolate Syrup

Large bag Reese’s Miniatures, unwrapped and chopped

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Directions:

1. Bake brownies in greased 13×9 pan, but reduce baking time to only 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

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2. With stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, milk, sugar, and peanut butter until completely combined.

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3. Carefully fold Cool Whip into peanut butter mixture.

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4. Top cooled brownies with 1 cup of chocolate syrup. Spread all the way to the edges.

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5. Drop chopped Reese’s on top of the chocolate syrup in an even but hearty layer.

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6. Cover Reese’s in peanut butter mixture and spread smooth.

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7. Cover entire pan in plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours, or overnight.

8. When ready to eat, cut cake into squares and top each square with more chocolate syrup and chopped Reese’s.

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This cake is extremely rich. My brother and my family loved it. Honestly it was a little bit too rich for me to handle, but I’m not a huge chocolate fan anyway so don’t necessarily take my word for it. 😉

I used fat free/low fat everything I could for this recipe. I figured why not – there’s enough sugar in it anyway it’s definitely not going to be low on flavor! Feel free to use the full-fat version if you prefer!

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Perfect M&M Cookies

I found this amazing pin which led to this amazing blog post by Tessa over at Handle the Heat. It’s the first I’ve ever seen her blog, but after poking around a little I will definitely have to spend more time there!

Basically Tessa took the most basic chocolate chip cookie out there (the Nestle Tollhouse Recipe on the package) and made 9 batches of cookies. Each time she changed just 1 different element in the recipe to see what effect it had on the cookies. Very interesting!

After reading through all her notes I decided to create my own modification from the Tollhouse basic recipe with a couple of her variations. I have to say – the result is pretty perfect!!

Perfect M&M Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 cup flour

2 cups plain M&M’s (or 1 1/2 cups M&M minis)

Directions:

1. Put sugars into large bowl and top with cut up butter. Add vanilla and beat until smooth.

2. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Scrape bowl and beater, then turn mixer back on low.

3. Add salt, then baking soda and powder. Slowly add flour until all incorporated.

4. Mix in M&M’s by hand.

5. Refrigerate for at least a couple hours, but better if overnight. This part is torture, but trust me – the flavors meld together and become much richer when it’s given time to rest.

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6. Scoop balls about 1 1/2 tbsp , then flatten with palms. Bake at 350* spaced well apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 9-10 minutes.

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**The first batch I only baked 2, and checked on them after 8 minutes, then 9 minutes, and again at 10 minutes. I really really didn’t want to over bake them. At 10 minutes they edges were brown, and the center was big and puffy.**

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7. Once done baking, let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet. The puffy tops will flatten out and since the centers are slightly under baked, this helps them set up. Once they’re cool, they can be moved.

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These cookies are slightly crispy on the edges and soft ad perfect in the middle. And how much more fun are M&M’s than boring chocolate chips!? Since I’m not a huge chocolate fan, the ooey-gooey chocolate chips are always so rich I can only handle like one cookie. But since the candy coating surrounds the chocolate, they are just perfect! I wanted to eat the whole pan!

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Slutty Brownies

Don’t let the name fool you – these brownies are a very good thing.

I don’t know where the name came from, but it’s a real thing so I figured it made more sense to leave it be. Especially when they’re this good.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Just a quick note – There are multiple layers to these, so I listed some of the same ingredients twice. They’re listed in the order that you need them. Don’t be scared by the long list, these are easy! I put a line between each layer to help break it up.

Slutty Browniesadapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup), melted & slightly cooled

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

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1 ENTIRE pack of regular (aka Double Stuf) oreos – seriously don’t even eat one or two, you will be short!)

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1 cup vegetable oil

2 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

1 cup flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. First layer is chocolate chip cookie. Mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add the egg and egg yolk, and the vanilla, scraping the bowl if necessary. Mix in baking soda and salt, then slowly add the flour. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.

2. Spray a 13×9″ pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. (My honey helped me.)

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3. Press the oreos into the chocolate chip cookie dough. You might have to spread them out a little to make sure there is oreo across the whole surface. Might even have to break some in half to reach the bottom.

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4. Time to make the brownie batter! Mix together the oil and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to wet mixture.

5. Carefully pour batter over oreos, making sure to cover them completely. Use a spatula to push batter into the corners and between all the oreos.

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*I was feeling fancy so I added sprinkles. Totally optional. But let’s face it, everything is better with sprinkles*

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6. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes. Check the doneness by sticking a toothpick in between where the oreos are to make sure the brownie batter is cooked thoroughly. Let cool completely before cutting. Seriously, let them cool.

I made these the night before going camping, and we didn’t have them until the 3rd night. I just covered the entire pan in foil and waited patiently!

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Oaty Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I offered to bring dessert to a family BBQ a couple weeks ago, but when it came time to make it I didn’t have much on hand, and didn’t have a ton of time. I searched the internet for ideas and came across this recipe for Granola Blondies by the ever amazing Shelly of Cookies and Cups. I used the idea as a basis for my bars, but none of my fix-ins are the same because I had to use what I had in the pantry!

I wasn’t sure what to call my version, so I settled on a wordy thrown together name that just encompasses everything they represented.

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Oaty Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – adapted from Cookies & Cups

Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips

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Don’t all of the fix-ins look amazing together??

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*.

2. Line 9×9 pan with foil for easy removal. Spray foil lightly with non-stick spray.

3. Beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, and scrape sides if necessary.

4. Add salt and baking powder. Slowly add flour until all incorporated. Mix in the fix-ins by hand.

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5. Spread into the foil-lined pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges start to turn golden. Let cool completely before cutting. (You can put in the fridge to cool faster.)

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I didn’t have time to let these cool and set up enough, so they were very very gooey when I cut into them.

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Still amazingly tasty, but not the cutest pictures or the cleanest fingers. 🙂

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Reese’s Cupcakes

Tomorrow is a coworker’s birthday. She asked me to bring chocolate cupcakes. Too boring for me, so I had to get fancy.

These are fun, rich, and look fancy!

Reese’s Cupcakes (yields 24 cupcakes)

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The cupcake base is the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake. It’s right on the back of the cocoa box. I have made them a couple times here and here. Aaaannnnnd I just realized I didn’t post the actual recipe either time so here it is:

Chocolate Cupcakes – adapted from Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

(I know it’s a lot of ingredients but it’s easy – I promise!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl).

2. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Carefully add boiling water and mix in thoroughly by hand. (If you try to use the stand mixer, water will splash everywhere. Trust me. Don’t do it.) Batter will be very thin.

4. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 the way. Bake for 11 minutes. While they are baking, start unwrapping miniature Reese’s cups.

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5. After 11 minutes, remove the cupcake pans from the oven. Carefully press a Reese’s cup into the top of each cupcake and return to the oven. Bake for another 11 minutes.

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6. Let cool completely before making the frosting.

Some of the cups sank lower than others for the second half of baking…

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By the way, how cute are these liners? They are the only non-super-girly liners I could find with orange on them. I felt like orange was necessary because, hello – Reese’s!

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Now on to the good stuff….

Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients:

1 lb powdered sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter

2/3 cup smooth peanut butter

3 tbsp milk + 2 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Put powdered sugar in the bowl first. Cut up the butter into small slices or chunks, and spread out on top of the powdered sugar. Add peanut butter, vanilla, and 3 tbsp of the milk to the bowl. (I know this sounds silly, but putting the powdered sugar on the bottom helps the other ingredients incorporate better.)

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2. Mix on low until powdered sugar is incorporated and will no longer fly across the kitchen. Beat on medium speed until frosting is smooth. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of milk one at a time until fully incorporated.

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I frosted my cupcakes with a large closed star tip. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to cover the secret Reese’s cup inside the cupcake. Top with other Reese’s cup and ta-da!

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These cupcakes are super rich and SO dreamy with the peanut butter frosting. How have I never made peanut butter frosting before?!

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Pregnant Lady Cookie Dough

This is actually just a post rewind of sorts… bear with me.

…the other day, my husband said I should make chocolate chip cookies. Cookies are basically his favorite thing ever. (And I don’t mean my decorated sugar cookies. He likes regular ol’ cookies.) Me being the hormonal, whiney, cranky-pants that I am lately, protested because A) I would have to make cookies, and B) I couldn’t eat any dough.

See, people always say you shouldn’t eat raw cookie dough or cake/brownie batter because the raw eggs and salmonella blah blah blah… and no one actually listens to that.

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BUT. When you’re prego, salmonella is a really big deal. Like it can cause miscarriage big deal. So I wasn’t even trying to tempt myself.

Thankfully, I had these Cookie Dough Truffles up my sleeve. Raw cookie dough sans eggs. I will now refer to it as Pregnant Lady Cookie Dough.

(**Quick note: While this satisfied my cookie dough need, it didn’t quite satisfy my husband’s cookie need. You can’t bake dough without eggs, it just won’t work! I think I owe him…)

When I posted the original recipe, I coated them in chocolate. I’ve made this dough a few times now, and most of the time it doesn’t make it to the dipping stage. Usually I bake it into something. This time, no way.

I scooped the dough into small balls, lined them up on a wax lined baking sheet, and left them in the freezer overnight. The next morning, I packed them all in a quart-sized zip top bag and gifted them to my brother-in-law for this birthday. He’s a cookie dough fiend.

…not all the dough made it into cute little balls. The rest resided in my fridge until we polished it off last night. 🙂

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To make things easy, here is the recipe again, appropriately renamed:

Pregnant Lady Cookie Dough – adapted from eat.drink.smile. 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla
scant 1/3 cup milk (little less than 1/3 cup)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used reg size but mini would work!)

Directions:

1. Beat together butter and sugars until combined.

2. Add vanilla and milk and beat, scraping and cleaning beaters/paddle a couple times.

3. Mix together flour, salt, and baking soda, then slowly add to wet mixture until completely combined.

4. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Scoop into small balls and freeze on a baking sheet. Once solid, store in a zip top bag for anytime snacking.

Pregnant ladies everywhere, you’re welcome.

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Minty Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

These cookies are EASY PEEZY.

Did you know that I have a tag for easy cookies? In the right column there is a tag cloud of words that I use most often. If you find “easy cookies” you will see all the recipes that I tagged like this one. Because they’re so easy!!

These start with a basic box of cake mix. I chose Chocolate Fudge flavor (by my girl Betty) because I wanted them as rich and chocolatey as possible.

Beat cake mix with 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of oil and voila! Cookie dough.

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To these I added about 1/2 bag of these wonderous Andes Mint Baking Chips. I have had these for a while and finally got around to making something with them. I thought St. Patty’s day approaching would be the perfect time because they’re green!

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Scoop 1/2 tbsp sized balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. (10 if you like a softer cookie, 12 if you want a crunchier cookie.) I like to use a mini cookie scoop so that they all come out the same size. Let cool for a couple minutes before moving to a wire rack. They come out puffy but deflate a little and set up nicely.

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These were not too chocolatey (perfect for me) but nicely minty like a girl scout cookie.

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16th Birthday Cookies & Cake Balls

Alyssah turned 16 this week! Her mom is an old coworker of mine and decided to trick her for her sweet 16. Alyssah was told that there was just no money for a birthday party this year… but in reality there was a huge surprise party planned!

We went with zebra, hot pink, and turquoise as the “theme.”

This was my first time making zebra cookies. I contemplated a few ways I could do it before settling on outlining each stripe and filling them separately.

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They came out better than I imagined, and each one was unique because I just free handed the stripes.

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The rest of the cookies were filled in hot pink and bright turquoise, with alternating mongrams, 16’s, and her name.

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Don’t they look cute together? I am in love with this set.

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Last year for Alyssah’s birthday I made these Red Velvet Cake Balls. Her mom asked for cake balls again, so this year I went with yellow cake and chocolate coating.

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I colored the chocolate coating black (or as black as I could) so that they would match the cookies. Then I drizzled the tops with turquoise and hot pink to match the cookies.

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Alyssah was so surprised at her party! Her parents told her they were going to her aunt’s house for dinner. All her friends were hiding under the tables and behind furniture so they could pop out as she walked through the door!

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Homemade Peppermint Patties

I made peppermint patties. As in the York type. I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible for them to taste as amazing as they did. After one bite my jaw dropped… and after the second bite (to make sure I wasn’t dreaming) I had to snap this photo and send it to my husband and brother.

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I’ve seen homemade peppermint pattie recipes before, but this one seemed so easy and quick that I decided it was time to give it a try.

Homemade Peppermint Pattiesadapted from Sweet Savory Life

Ingredients:

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp peppermint extract

food coloring (optional)

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or candy melts

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of powdered sugar, the sweetened condensed milk, and the peppermint extract. Mix on medium speed until everything is incorporated.

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2. Add food coloring if desiered. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until all is incorporated. Candy mixture will be thick and sticky.

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3. Line a few baking sheets with wax paper and make room in the freezer. Prepare to get messy.

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4. With a spoon or spatula, grab a dollop of candy about 1″ in diameter. It’s going to be very very messy so just do the best you can with it. You want them to eventually be disks on the wax paper, about an 1″ or so apart. The original directions say to make a ball then press it flat on the wax paper. I found it was easier to plop the dollop on the wax paper, use my fingertips to push the edges into a round shape, then carefully pat down the top until it’s smooth.

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(Have you ever played with cornstarch/water goop as a child? It feels hard but then it always sinks down flat again.. This was kind of like that. It settles on it’s own, you just want to make sure it happens in a nice round shape.)

5. Once an entire pan is full, put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. I ended up with 3 trays full of these little pink patties.

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6. Melt chocolate chips or candy melts in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time. Once smooth, remove a pan of peppermint patties from the freezer. Peel off one of the disks, coat it in chocolate, and lay it back on the pan to set up. I found it easier to dip these with my fingers. (They don’t freeze completely solid, so when I used a fork the pattie drooped over the edge of the fork while I was tapping off the excess chocolate.) It’s messy doing it with your fingers, which is why I didn’t get any photos of this step. I had no one else home with me to snap them!

The patties soften to room temperature quickly, so I could only dip about 6 at a time before I had to return the pan to the freezer and switch to another pan. During that time the chocolate coated ones hardened and could be removed to the fridge (or to my mouth).

The dipping was long and aggravating, but TRUST ME, I realized it was worth it once I bit into that first one!

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Store in the fridge or freezer. And be sure to share, this recipe makes a ton of these!

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Merry Christmas (Eve) friends!

Bringing this to my parents’ house for our Christmas Eve dinner. Needed something decadent because my family loves rich, heavy desserts.

I guess I am into chocolate chip cookie dough lately. I can’t help it, the stuff is so addicting! And way too easy to slap together.

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

scant 1/3 cup milk (little less than 1/3 cup)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used reg size but mini would work!)

Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients: (adapted recipe from taste of home)

-For the crust-

1 1/3 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies (I used crunchy Chips Ahoy)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter, melted

-For the filling-

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 (8oz) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla

whipped cream and/or chocolate drizzle for serving (optional)

Cookie Dough Directions:

1. Beat together butter and sugars until combined. Add vanilla and milk and beat, scraping if necessary. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add flour to wet mixture until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

2. Chill dough for about an hour to make dough easier to handle. Roll into 1″ sized dough balls, and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Place the whole pan in the freezer until balls are frozen solid.

**At this point the balls can be moved to a zip top bag and saved for later use. I actually used dough balls that had been in my freezer waiting for something spectacular to become a part of. Just make sure your roommates know not to eat them!**

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3. You will only need about 25-30 cookie dough balls for this cheesecake. Cut frozen cookie dough balls into quarters, and place back in the freezer until ready for use. (Keeping the dough absolutely frozen until baking will ensure it doesn’t bake into cookies instead of staying cookie dough.)

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Cheesecake Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray if necessary.

2. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

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3. Microwave chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly.

4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs and beat until just combined. Stir in vanilla then melted chocolate by hand. Be careful not to overbeat – overbeating will cause the cheesecake to crack while cooking.

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5. Carefully fold frozen cookie dough chunks into cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust and smooth out the top as best as possible.

(Sorry, forgot to take a photo here, I was anxious to get it in the oven!)

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top looks dry and center is almost set.

7. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen from the pan. Let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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8. Remove from fridge 1-2 hours before serving. Remove springform ring and place on a cake plate or large platter. Top with whipped cream or chocolate drizzle if desired.

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20121224-211440.jpg This dessert was SO rich that most of us couldn’t finish a slice. I should have cut it into smaller slices! It’s super moist and creamy, and the cookie dough is just heavenly tucked away in the rich chocolate.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas!

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